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Conference Proceeding

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A learner-centered higher education ecosystem is essential to effective educational outcomes and societal advancement. Mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and tablet computers enable learning anytime and from any location, blurring the boundaries between formal and informal learning. When paired with effective pedagogy, mobile technologies can positively impact the teaching and learning experience for students in high-demand science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, increasing the flexibility and ease with which they are able to pursue their education while developing their professional identities as engineers. Student retention remains a problem in STEM programs. In engineering, many students do not even make it past their core courses. This poster reports on initial efforts of a two-year research study to utilize mobile technologies and a technology-enhanced curriculum to improve student engagement and learning in STEM undergraduate courses. Guided by a social-constructivist theoretical framework and the Triple E framework (Engagement, Enhancement, Extension) this work in progress poster describes a quasi-experimental mixed methods study on implementing mobile devices (iPad and Pencil) and a technology-enhanced curriculum in an undergraduate thermal-fluids engineering course. The technology-enhanced curriculum will be fully integrated in the thermal-fluids course to deliver content and to facilitate student engagement with the content, instructor, and peers. This approach applies the social-constructivist perspective on learning and supports a connected community of learners with classroom peers and co-construction of knowledge where the instructor’s role is that of a subject matter expert who facilitates learning. To examine the impact of mobile devices on student learning, in this two-year study (started in Fall 2021), the following research questions will be addressed, hypothesizing improvements in the areas of engagement, learning outcomes, and extension of learning goals to real-life problems: (1) Does mobile device use facilitate engagement in thermal-fluid science course content? (Engagement), (2) Does mobile device use increase learning of identified difficult concepts in thermal-fluid science courses as indicated by increased achievement scores? (Enhancement) and (3) What are student perceptions of using mobile devices for solving real-life problems? (Extension). This poster will provide an overview of the research plan and describe some preliminary research efforts.

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© 2022, American Society for Engineering Education, Proceedings of ASEE Annual Conference. Minneapolis, MN.